November 2021 - Sleek Web Designs Blog

Month: November 2021

Which Google My Business Fields Affect Ranking?

Google My Business (GMB) profiles carry several fields and options for customization. Which one actually makes an impact on ranking?

You’ll be surprised to find out only four make a big difference and one of them is riddled with misconception.

Four Google My Business Fields that Affect Ranking

1. Business Name

Your business name actually affects how you rank on Google My Business. While changing it may be difficult at a point where the business is already up and running, there is a way to work around it.

Keywords in your business name will take your business ranking higher. According to a 2018 Moz survey,  keywords in the business title, among other GMB signals, account for about 25% of local search ranking factors.

This will only work to your advantage if the business already has the keyword as part of its legal trading name.

Adding a keyword for a Google My Business listing actually goes against their policies and could get your listing in trouble.

When you are doing things right but you notice a competitor added a keyword so they rank higher, you can report the listing. It may take several attempts to reflect but it definitely has an impact.

If you still want to add keyword descriptors, you can try doing it on Bing. They allow it.

2. Website

Google My Business affects rating

Most people know filling out the website field makes a difference towards ranking and they choose to link to the homepage.

There is nothing wrong with that but linking to a targeted page may bring better results.

Businesses that have multiple locations can link to a location page. Where there are different listings, whether in form of departments or practitioner listings, a business can link to the different pages available on the website.

This will increase exposure and improve ranking over time. Trying to rank using the same link will not work. The rest will be filtered.

Try it out and see what difference it makes for your rankings over several weeks.

3. Categories

Categories keep changing on GMB. They add and remove them at different times. Adding categories that are not related to the business causes a drop in rating.

You don’t have to worry about category dilution, however. This is adding too many related categories. Rankings will remain intact whether you add them or not as long as they have something in common.

Google recommends adding relevant categories and keeping them as few as possible.  This way you wont find yourself getting affected by un-related categories of the Google My Business that affects ranking

4. Reviews

People need to speak about your business online! More reviews increases ranking but then it starts to level off when they increase exponentially.

The opposite is also true, where a drop in reviews also reduces the rating.

What people are saying also matters for different reasons, whether positive or negative.  A good mix of positive, neutral, and negative reviews is preferred. Ratings can drop when negative sentiments dominate your reviews.

Negative reviews are frowned upon but they still carry something for your ratings. How do negative reviews benefit your business?

Positive Effects of Negative Reviews

1. Numbers and Engagement

It is only logical that review numbers will increase regardless of whether they are saying good things or not. Businesses with more reviews tend to get more visibility.

It is always best to address negative reviews and responding to negative reviews means more engagement. How you handle negative comments will show your clientele what kind of business you really are and could earn you more business.

Engagement in Google My Business affects ranking so you have an opportunity to make it work for you.

2. Authenticity

Perfection may be something we strive for but there is always room to grow or change. Therefore negative reviews are expected for whatever reason.

A listing with positive reviews only may look suspect and will attract fewer customers. You need a mix of the good and bad to look good.

3. Related Keywords
how Google My Business affects rating

Whenever people write reviews they are likely to include relevant keywords. Keywords are great for SEO since they refer to what your business deals with.

Reviews on Google Verified Review Partner sites will affect ranking and support all your other attempts at SEO.

4. Insights for Your Business

Businesses need truthful insights and people are more comfortable doing this online. Surveys may not always draw brutally honest responses.

Take your customers’ frustrations and use them to build your business.

It is best to respond to negative reviews when you encounter them. Responding to reviews on Google My Business affects ranking since it shows you actually care about your clients.

It also offers you a chance to change a disgruntled customer’s mind about your business.

Since reviews also influence how prospective clients see your business, turning a disappointed client has the potential to bring in new clients from your interactions.

Respond to positive ones too and show your appreciation. The small things still matter in customer experience.

What Will Not Affect Your Ranking

Products, services, and  Q&A are other important fields on Google My Business but they will not directly affect ranking.

Showcase your products, by all means, but it will not increase your ranking. It may bring more  clicks to your website though. Humans are highly visual and beautiful and relevant photos will  pull customers to your listing and website.

Highlight your Which Google My Business Fields Affect Ranking? for your clients to know what you offer. Otherwise how will they know what to come to you for? This section has lots of room to add keywords but that is, unfortunately, where it ends.

Ensure the Q&A section has relevant questions and answers. Adding keywords to this section will not make much difference but it will provide your clients the information they need as soon as they encounter your listing.

These remain avenues you can use to bring in more clients to your business.

Conclusion

Spend your energies on the Google My Business affects ranking sections. Pay attention to these and tune them as much as possible.

Be sure to fill out the other fields because they are necessary for a complete profile. Clients still need to see this information. It makes your listing look more legitimate and that earns you trust.

Top 25 Local Search Ranking Signals You Need to Know

The success of a business depends on traffic from customers, and local search ranking signals, whether it's a brick-and-mortar retail store or an online storefront.

On the other hand, attracting more customers to your company depends on many essential aspects.

Although there isn't a clear method to get more customers in your store, there are strategies to increase your chances.

You might be having a restaurant with a comfortable seating arrangement, a clean environment, and assisting staff that can increase the number of customers you serve.

On the contrary, getting "found" by your customers isn't a walk in the park in the internet world.

Most Common local Search Ranking Signals That Boost SEO Businesses

1. Reviews that include Keywords and location

According to a Local SEO Guide study, the language used by reviewers matters a lot.

If reviewers mention keywords or the city, it tells Google that you're an authentic local business.

2. Percentage of Negative Reviews Not Replied To

local search ranking signals

Talking about reviews, the ones that have been responded to matter, and negative reviews that have not been responded to.

These indications make it crystal clear that you should have a strategy to follow up on any online review, especially for Google.

3. Social Listings

Claim additional social profiles on popular social media sites (such as Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn). Even better, you can do this even if you do not intend to be active on these sites.

You can even pin a post and invite people to visit your site or follow you on the social network you're the more active on.

Lastly, Customers expect fast responses from businesses on social media. Therefore, ensure you leave a note or contact details if you'll not be on the page.

4. Tap-Through Rates from Search Outcomes

It turns out that if you're doing very well in SEO, things will run smoothly when it comes to Local SEO. Yes, you heard it right.

Make sure that your meta descriptions and meta titles are sensible so that users can get what they are looking for when they visit your website.

5. Meta Title

The meta tag or title of your site is among the most crucial ranking indicators. Ensure that it is accurate and relevant.

6. Title + Meta Description

You should always include your keyword and its location in your meta description and title whenever possible.

This signal coincides with the one above and is nevertheless important enough to be mentioned separately.

7. Proximity to the Searcher

Although you cannot optimize your physical locality, it's an extremely powerful ranking signal. For this reason, claiming your Google my business and maintaining regular NAPs is essential.

8. Inbound With Local and Keyword in Anchor Text

An array of well-optimized inbound links websites is fantastic. Still, the ultimate goal is an inbound hyperlink from an authoritative site utilizing your neighborhood or city and the primary keyword.

9. Local Relevant Inbound Links from Websites

Linking to local news websites as well as community blogs and others confirms that your website is a trusted resource for your community.

10. Google My Business

If you've not yet claimed your Google My Business page, make it happen now. It only takes some minutes and is completely free.

This is among the easiest and most efficient methods to improve your Local SEO.

11. Photos on Google My Business Page

Photograph your place of business, products, employees, and even your clients (with permission, obviously).

Why all these? You may ask.

Photos can help establish credibility for your company and can serve as an indicator of local rank.

12. Google My Business Categories

Inside Your Google My Business account, ensure that you've selected the correct categories.

Choose the smallest number of categories possible and ensure they are very accurate to get the best results.

For instance, don’t pick a "takeout restaurant" if you are a pizza shop where many customers dine.

13. Business Listing On Bing Places

Google is the dominant search engine. However, it's not enough to ignore the other search engines.

Bing Places still hold a distinctive position in search engines.

You can set up your company's profile with Bing Places to be found by local people looking for businesses similar to yours.

14. Online Citations

There are many trusted directories online. The majority of them are free, and all you require is an internet connection and a working computer to add your business.

Additionally, the online citations of trustworthy directories like Yelp, Foursquare, Yellow Pages, Apple Maps, and Citylocal 101 are high-ranking signals.

Moreover, these citations should contain important information such as an address, name, and telephone numbers.

15. Positive Customer Reviews

Having a lot of people discussing your business is essential. What these customers say is even more critical.

Additionally, a more significant number of positive reviews from customers is a clear rank signal to any company.

Therefore, inspire your clients to write reviews on well-known review sites so that you can get more brand awareness through a boost in your SEO.

16. Facebook Business Page

Facebook was home to 2.6 billion active users during 2020’s first quarter.

The best part?

These numbers is that you have the opportunity to join this massive community and increase your business awareness.

You only need to join Facebook and create a business page, and then promote it.

Luckily, Facebook is an excellent way to engage with your existing customers and attract new customers.

17. Locally Engaging Content

Small enterprises should focus on creating relevant content since local people associate well with relevant news and stories.

They should also create content that they can naturally add to their keywords and location. Furthermore, this is the primary factor in getting local search ranking signals on your website higher.

With that said, you can write about community events, local collaborations, and anything else relevant to your brand values.

18. Domain Authority Score

If you've been living under the surface for the past couple of years, it's high time you learn more about Domain Authority.

To begin with, Domain Authority is a number calculated by Moz that determines the relevance of a website to the targeted industry.

Also, note that relevance has an immediate effect on the ranking of your website. Therefore, check your website's relevance and make the necessary adjustments.

19. Bounce Rates from Search Results

local search ranking factors

Another important aspect is the number of visitors bouncing back from your pages within a short time. To avoid this, you can increase the speed of loading for your site.

It is beneficial to concentrate on local users and local SEO, but when you focus on all SEO aspects, you will reap the fruits of both.

If you're not aware of the difference between the two, now is the perfect time to study the differences between them.

20. Mobile Friendliness

Google is now grading websites depending on their responsiveness on mobiles. The reason for this is simple: the growing number of mobile users.

A website that is quick to load on mobiles and is easy to use is more likely to rank high in results on search engines.

21. Links from Relevant Sites

Affiliates with relevant websites are significant ranking signals to top search engines. It could profit your business in many ways.

22. High-Quality Inbound Links

It's not a surprise that the links of websites Google considers trustworthy are great for SEO. As a matter of fact, a strong link profile all through is a plus for local SEO.

23. Content of Reviews

Customer reviews' content is another important ranking indicator. Reviews that contain keywords and city or region names are perceived as high-quality reviews.

If a reviewer uses these crucial elements, it signals the search engine that your company has a good reputation among locals.

It’s always a better idea to invite your customers to rate your company using the appropriate keywords.

24. Keyword Optimization

Back in the day, keywords were among the most crucial SEO elements.

Although this does not apply to date, it is crucial to building your website around relevant keywords.

25. Include Structured Data Markup

Google strongly recommends adding structured data markups to boost the local search ranking signals on your website.

Furthermore, details like menus, hours, addresses, numerous departments, phone numbers, and websites are crucial to improving local SEO.

Moreover, consider using tools such as Schema to verify the data structure of your website.

Wrapping Up

You can now agree that setting up an SEO business is one thing, and maintaining it is another.

You’ll need to maintain your traffic and stay away from negative reviews. And by doing this, you’ll be on top of the game with nothing to worry about.

All that is required of you is having a plan and know how and when to implement it in your SEO business.

How To Develop A Winning Local SEO Strategy For Your Business

Local SEO strategy prioritizes appearing on top of search engine results in a specific area. It is vital for small businesses operating at a regional level as opposed to a national level.

Although it may be difficult for small businesses to compete with the bigger names online, a strategic approach with the correct tools can catapult your local SEO performance by increasing the visibility of your business, thereby increasing your sales.

Read on to find out ways of developing a winning local SEO strategy for your business.

5 Ways to Develop a Winning Local SEO Strategy

Unify Your Business Listings

local SEO strategy

The contact details and information of your business online is called business listing. It is essential in local SEO and helps tap targeted local markets through search engine results.

Without business listings, there is essentially no marketing. It provides the platform for all other forms of marketing strategies for businesses, both online and offline.

The importance of online business listings is immense, so every business needs to pay attention to it.

Owners of businesses listed online can all agree that most listing platforms require verification, monitoring, or update. Additionally, most of those listing sites are less trafficked, unlike the more recognizable Google, Yelp, Google My Business, or Facebook that receive high traffic.

You know, high trafficked listing platforms continuously check the accuracy of information against less-trafficked listing platforms and vice versa.

So, you need to ensure that your business listing is accurate and uniform across the various maps, apps, social networks, directories, and other tools, where consumers are searching for information.

The more uniform and updated your information is, the more trusted your site leads to increased traffic and conversion rates.

Carry Out Competitor Keyword Research

Do you want to outrank your competition on search engine results? You will have to find out the keywords they are ranking for to do this.

With modern SEO tools, you can conduct a competitive analysis to determine the terms your competition is ranking for, their backlinks source, and more.

Just search for a competitor’s domain, and the SEO tool you’re using will come up with a list of keywords they organically rank for.

From there, you can utilize the competition metrics and search volume to figure out if those keywords are suitable for your site.

Keep in mind that you are only targeting keywords that match the products or services you offer, what potential customers are looking for, and the area(s) you are targeting.

Audit Your Current Website

As soon as a consumer visits your website and finds out it is faulty, there is no doubt they will hit the return button hastily.

A well-structured, fast, and user-friendly website is more likely to attract and retain consumers given the ease and convenience of navigating through the website’s pages.

Did you know that more than half of all internet searches are done on mobile devices? This tells you that other than structure, loading speed, and user experience, your website should also be accessible and responsive on mobile phones since the majority of consumers use it to search for information.

Before you think about optimizing your local SEO, first think about whether your website is running effectively.

Auditing will help you understand technical or on-page problems that could curtail the effectiveness of your website. These problems should be addressed before carrying on with your local SEO efforts.

Optimize Your Content for Local SEO

Writing local SEO-friendly content that suits search engines for your targeted location is a winning strategy for any business.

But, you have to have a thorough understanding of what the local consumers are searching for and the ability to portray it in an appealing and catchy way to attract customers.

The strategies used in achieving this include content optimization using targeted local keywords, title and meta-tag optimization, image optimization, internal linking, and more.

We will take you through these local SEO strategies in a bit more detail.

  • Content optimization - Create well-researched, well-formatted, and keyword-optimized content clearly explaining what your business is all about. Be sure to add your local keywords throughout the content. Fluff-free, engaging, and original content will make your site rank higher in search engine results.
  • Title and meta-tag optimization - Be sure to put your target keywords in page titles and meta-tag descriptions throughout your website. Ensure the titles and descriptions of each page are unique and concise. If this strategy is correctly done, your site will soon pop up at the top of search engine results.
  • Image optimization - Add beautiful, eye-catching images with optimized alt text. High-quality images carry a better impression for potential customers, unlike low-quality ones. Reduce the image’s file size to reduce the website’s load time. If possible, try adding your target keywords.
  • Internal linking - Adding internal links that connect different pages in your site helps users conveniently access more information within the website. They may also land on your most important pages too.
  • URL structure - Create short but comprehensive URLs for all your posts and pages and let them include the local-based keyword for the page. Check and fix any broken links on your website.

Capitalize On Positive Customer Reviews

local SEO solutions

Another significant factor to consider for your local SEO is your business’s number of positive reviews on Google My Business.

Receiving good reviews not only optimizes your presence on Google My Business; it also motivates more local consumers to choose your products or services.

According to a study, 85% of consumers believe online reviews as much as personal recommendations.

You can ask your customers in person for a review after closing a sale or send them a post-purchase text or email asking for the same.

When responding to reviews, make sure to do it professionally, addressing satisfied and dissatisfied customers respectably and honestly.

Final Word

With more people searching for products and services online through their digital devices, boosting your business’s presence online has never had more importance.

Local SEO, if done right, is a powerful tool in generating traffic and increasing conversion rates.

The information above will help you start your local SEO and watch your business's visibility online increase. If it gets challenging, hire experts to help you develop winning local SEO strategies for your business.

Remember SEO may take time before you start seeing results. Don't get discouraged, though; the correct approach will achieve results in no time.

Good luck!

how to hire local SEO agency

How to Hire the Best Local SEO Agency for Your Business

Are you wondering how to hire a local SEO agency?

When looking to hire the expert services of a local SEO agency, you expect them to handle most of the essentials of local SEO. These include local SEO optimization, online and offline marketing, and more.

At the end of it all, your business should reap benefits such as high rankings, more qualified traffic for your site, increased conversion rates, and more revenue.

The first step towards hiring the best agency for your local SEO is to evaluate your business and its needs. The local SEO agency will come in to assess what you already have and identify those areas that need improvement.

Read on for more.

Hiring the Best Local SEO Firm

The best local SEO agency is one that will stick with you for the long term. It should be there in the good and the bad. That’s why in this article, we’ll guide you on how to find an agency that will journey with you until you achieve the results you desire.

Understand How Google Works

how to hire local SEO agency

Before you decide to engage an agency, take time to read and understand Google’s guidelines. You don’t want your efforts and decisions to get you in trouble with Google because of your naivety.

Without knowing what Google needs you to do, you won’t understand whether the agency is doing the right thing or violating Google’s guidelines. What if the agency violates the guidelines and gets your business suspended or penalized? What if your company’s reputation is ruined?

Getting to know Google’s permissions will enable you and your selected agency to be on the same page making smart local SEO decisions for long-term business growth.

Learn the Basics of Local SEO

Before meeting the SEO agency for an interview, it’s better to brush up your SEO knowledge. Search engine optimization is pretty complex and nuanced, and it keeps evolving over time.

Learning the fundamentals of SEO will help you understand important terms and their meaning, what you can accomplish with strategic SEO, and the best strategies that work.

It will also enable you to monitor the progress as the agency works on the business. You’ll learn about SEO trends, ask relevant questions, and immediately weed out the agency when you discover incompetence.

Lay Out All Facts on the Table

Now that you’ve familiarized yourself with the innings of Google and Local SEO, it’s time to test your prospective SEO agency’s capabilities. During the interview, you’ll need to present all the facts about your business.

Which strategies did you use before, and how did the business perform? In the process of optimization, did you have issues that attracted actions like review removal or listing suspensions from Google?

Does the business still have mistakes that Google hasn’t identified? These and more will give the agency an idea of what it will be dealing with. This will help to plan the next course of action, including cleaning up.

Making the agency aware of these problems will help it create detailed strategies that drive success.

What Are the Crucial Areas of Focus?

how to hire local SEO agency

Right before you give the go-ahead to the agency, have them conduct an audit on the company. An audit will give a clear picture of your business’s situation, and the marketer will also confirm the past SEO mistakes.

Depending on your business’s SEO needs, you may want an agency with generalist focus or specialist focus. A marketer with a generalist focus works on different services with a variety of high-level goals.

One with a specialist focus deals only with local SEO and other services related to local search.

After the audit, the marketer will list the areas of concern. Together you can work out the most creative and profitable campaign ideas and strategies for local search.

An expert marketer will come with the skills and a team to curate top-notch content to boost your business’s 5 Ways to Preserve SEO Rankings during a Web Redesign

From their portfolio, you’ll gauge their proficiency from their work samples, case studies, reviews, anonymized data, and reports.

Deliver Essentials on Time

After much assessment and evaluation, you can embark on working on local SEO. The agency will require you to provide the correct documentation within a specified time.

This is the most crucial step in your local search engine optimization. Remember, failure to deliver information will delay your expected success. In the end, you’ll start blaming the agency for failing to meet the benchmarks when it’s you who didn’t comply with the deadlines. You need to let the SEO agency play their part so the results of their local SEO efforts will bear fruit.

When you agree to provide the correct business information, content, materials, access permissions, and more, make sure they are delivered on time.

Base Your Expectations on the Agency’s Appraisal

how to hire local SEO agency

While working on your SEO with the agency, remember that it will take time for your business to realize maximum ROI. Some tasks provide results immediately, while others take longer to pay off.

The foundation of local SEO strategies may take years to roll out. This means meeting the benchmarks every month or after a few months to ensure meaningful and measurable growth.

The best local SEO agency will map out our expectations according to your market, competitors, and business model.

Always Expect Changes from Google

Your agency may be a hub of specialized knowledge, but they don’t rule the jungle. Only Google has the power to rule, especially with its monopoly of local search. That’s why the search engine continuously modifies the terrain in various ways.

More often, you’ll see new features, algorithmic updates, new rules and guidelines, and even new competitors coming up or enhancing their marketing techniques. So you and your marketers should always expect Google changes.

Google updates and changes can affect your business experience significantly. Many times you’ll experience a drop in search visibility, web traffic, phone calls, or reviews.

It is at this time that you need to stay in constant communication with your market. A little patience is needed to give room for investigation before coming up with actions that will help the business adjust to and cope with the change.

Final Thoughts

If you want to know how to hire a local SEO agency, make sure you start with the fundamentals. The first quality to look for is proficiency. Its commitment to your business is vital as it will build your trust and compel you to act on their advice. You should also be ready to fulfill your part.

How to Drive Local Marketing With Google My Business Posts

Did you know you can use local marketing with Google My Business posts to make your business rank higher in google search?

Google My Business has tools that make marketing easier for both small and large businesses.

Your customers can access your product and services online; you can market your business through photos, videos, or text.

The best part is the tool is free and accessible to all.

Read on to learn more about local marketing with Google My Business posts.

Let's get started.

Why is Local Marketing With Google My Business Posts Important?

Improves Consumer Confidence

When it comes to making purchases, trust is vital.  If your business is on Google My Business listing, 70% of customers are likely to visit your business.

According to a study, businesses that have complete listings on Google My Business have a double chance to win trust from the consumers.

The well-established profile is likely to have 38% of customers visiting your site.

The reviews on Google My Business helps you earn the customer's trust.

The reviews influence your customer's decisions; 88% of customers trust reviews, just like personal recommendations.

Always encourage your customers to leave their reviews after service.

Keeps your Business Digital

The world is digital, and online is where potential customers are. Doing your local marketing with Google My Business is a significant step to your success.

If you are worried about improving your local SEO, Google My Business will help you rank on the top page. When potential customers search for your business, they will find you on the first page.

It also helps build your web traffic; with this account, someone can look for your business on Google Maps and determine where to find your shop.

Keeping Your Customers Well Informed

When making your listing on Google My Business, add all the information that is needed. Don't leave potential customers guessing about essential details about your company.

With Google My Business, you can update a newly opened branch or a temporarily closed branch. Since Google has solid local SEO, your updates will rank top in other sites.

Imagine your customer coming to your shop to find it closed. They will feel disappointed and choose your competitor around. If your business is temporarily closed, mark it as temporarily closed.

What are the Current Types of Google My Business Posts?

Events

importance of local marketing Google My Business posts

Upcoming events in your business plans to host or participate in, you should provide the time, titles, when the events begin and end.

When you don't include the start and end of the meeting, the events default to 24 hours after posting.

The CTA can be included here (though it is optional).  According to a google statement, if your event meets particular criteria, it will appear on the "Overview"  tab of your account.

The events post will appear on the desktop search panel; it's found under your address and hours segment.

COVID-19 

It's the recently added type of post on Google My Business. The post accommodates new changes in business due to the pandemic.

What's New 

It carries general information about your business, such as photos, new services, or videos.

Companies can include changes in address, unique products, and new product releases. "What's new " type of post will do well in creating awareness of a brand.

Are you worried about what to post on this segment? GMB post offers suggestions on what to post based on your business top reviews.

The posts are located above the "People Also Search For "segment.

Products

The product tab allows you to add specific services or products; your customer can see the pictures or other particular uses.

When using mobile search, the products will appear on your" Products" tab of the GMB profile; you have the freedom to add a price tag or product description.

Offers

This is where promotions are made and displaying sales for your business.

7 Ways to Improve Local Marketing with Google My Business Posts.

1. Consistent Posting

Posting regularly on Google My Business assures your customers that the services are available.

Why the consistency?  Google archives all posts that are older than one week that don't have specific dates.

On your busy schedule of improving your business, fix a time for making posts on your Google My Business once a week or a month. Consistency posting leaves your profile looking great.

2. Make an Offer Post

local marketing Google My Business post

An "Offer" post is an excellent way of using local marketing with Google My Business posts for contests.

Make the promotion and contests clear and easy to understand. A strong CTA will attract consumers.

Any customer who has never been to your shop will be attracted to your shop, and who knows, they will be your regular customer after that.

3. Add your Blogs

A blog is an excellent marketing strategy.

Blogs that are related to your business are helpful in local marketing with GMB posts. Include an external link to your blog that will send potential customers to the blog page.

4. Short Texts

Even though Google My Business allocates a large number of characters for posters, making them shorter will catch your customers' attention.

With a poster of 150 to 300 words, the reader will have access to the critical information without clicking to read more.

5. Maintain Professionalism

To achieve better results in local marketing with Google My Business posts, keep your posts professional.

The first impression that the customer has will determine whether they will need your products. Ensure that you keep your customer engaged, and by the end of the reading, they will act.

6. Include Relevant Keywords

Before publishing your post, ensure it contains relevant keywords that customers will search for when they need such a service.

Good research will enable you to select words and phrases that will grab the attention of the customer.

7. Leveraging Videos and Pictures

Most customers capture the information about a product or service when they are in media format.

Using high-quality videos and pictures will help you achieve excellent results.

Nobody is interested in watching a low-quality video or going through low-quality photos. You may be sharing the best product or services through pictures or video, but the low quality keeps your customer off.

Final Word

With Google My Business posts, there will be an improvement in your local marketing skills online. With the simple steps, you will have your business move to the next level. You have all the reasons to start posting on google your business; the sooner, the better.

10 Benefits of Local SEO to Small Businesses

Access Development conducted research that showed that at least 92% of customers traveled 15 minutes to buy their daily essentials. That shows you why investing in small business local SEO is worth it.

Like regular SEO, local SEO refers to a series of strategies and actions aimed at improving the visibility of your business on Google Maps and in the local 3-pack – the top three businesses Google thinks are the most relevant to the searchers’ location and query.

So, how does local SEO benefit your business?

Keep reading to find out.

Most Common Small Business local SEO Benefits

1. Increases Traffic

small business local SEO

The primary objective of SEO is to improve your business ranking in Google search results and generate leads.

Ease in accessibility and visibility of the information on mobile devices emphasizes how foot traffic can be driven to local businesses despite their target market.

According to a report, 61% of all searches online are conducted on mobile devices.

A better ranking on local search engines allows more potential customers to visit, thus boosting traffic to your site.

2. Generate Customers with a High Buying Intent

Typically, local searchers have a high search intent. In other words, they only start searching after making up their minds to purchase something.

So, engaging in small business local SEO can dramatically increase the chances of conversion.

3. Improves Overall Brand Awareness

With local SEO strategies as your marketing tool, you increase your website's chances of emerging on the SERPs in your targeted locations.

Investing in optimized local SEO can help your business build a local following, thereby improving your brand's awareness and reputation.

4. Increases Sales

Users tend to trust a site that shows up at the top of search engine results. They also trust sites with more reviews and a higher rating.

This trust can quickly motivate the consumers to visit the location in person.

88% of mobile phone users that run a local search for something online visit a related business within seven days.

In addition, 45% of consumers will likely pay a visit to a business's physical location, given the local search engine results were strong.

With the majority of consumers inside the store, there is a high possibility of quickly closing sales.

5. Outdo the Competition

These days, no matter how innovative or exemplary you are at your business, it is of little to no use if no one can locate you online.

Take, for instance, two companies offering similar products in the same locality.

However, one company has a better local SEO presence while the other relies solely on conventional marketing strategies.

In this digital age, which company do you think will flock with customers?

Optimized local SEO is powerful in reaching mobile phone users.

When your website emerges on the first page of search engines, you, my friend, are in control.

Correct SEO efforts offer your business a sustainable competitive edge over other players in the field.

6. Cost-Effective

small business SEO and local search

One irresistible benefit of local SEO is that it is cost-effective than other marketing strategies such as advertising.

To list your business on the web is free on online directories such as Facebook and Google My Business.

Nevertheless, if you are not confident with your websites' algorithm and coding skills, don't shy from hiring a small enterprise SEO firm to assist you.

Local SEO strategies can guarantee you a higher return on investment in the long term.

7. More People Want to Buy Local

Sure, mega corporations often succeed even in small towns compared to smaller local business entities. But this doesn’t imply people don’t want to support the owners of local businesses.

If anything, more people want to express their support for local businesses and boost the local economy. As people continue becoming more critical of online powerhouses and big-box stores, they also want to put their money where it makes the biggest difference.

So, when you establish your brand as a local business and drive more traffic, you’ll realize that many consumers are ready to lift you up.

8. Boosts Search Engine Rankings

Local SEO strategies catapult small businesses’ search engine rankings in that it optimizes the site to the latest updates.

SEO is also about remaining relevant for long periods.

But how can this be achieved?

Local SEO strategies ensure your website's content is relevant so that you keep readers engaged and spending more time on your website.

The type of words you choose is also a factor that determines how you rank in search engines.

Google has a keyword planner that allows you to filter keyword searches depending on location to give you an idea of the popular search terms in a given location.

9. Boosts Business Growth

One enormous advantage of optimized local SEO is the continuous growth of your business.

Coordinated local SEO exploits are primarily geared toward generating more traffic and improving rankings on the search engines. This improves the sales and marketing leads.

Because of better sales, more customers interested in your products will show up, therefore forming a self-sustaining business growth cycle.

You can boost your sales by ensuring positive in-store reviews and giving special offers.

Gradually but surely, your business will hit levels you would have only dreamt about.

10.Small Business Local SEO Is Data-Oriented

In today's age of marketing and business, data is invaluable.

Having correct details to analyze at your reach offers crucial insights to propel your business to greater heights.

Local SEO for small businesses measures and collects vital details on the performance of your website and provides appropriate comprehension of how to improve.

Such details include listing citations, local reviews, average ratings, and on-page visitor activity.

With these key performance indicators present, small business owners can track local search performance, examine the effectiveness of their local SEO campaigns, and deduce information to improve future SEO strategies.

Wrapping Up

Understanding the importance of small business local SEO is the first step to make your business stand out from the rest. To grow your local customers, connect with the local community, improve brand awareness, and gain a good reputation in your city. Consider working with a local SEO service provider to get started.

8 New and Updated Google My Business Features to Improve Local SEO

More businesses are looking for ways to leverage Google My Business for local SEO. And, businesses have had to adjust how they run their affairs with the entry of the Coronavirus pandemic and Google decided to adjust too and highlight those that did.

Google My Business (GMB) rolled out new features to make local search results even better. Business owners can now easily provide consumers with more useful and relevant information over their platform.

Take advantage of these new attributes and watch your business get better results.

1. Pandemic-Related Attributes

Google My Business for local SEO

These were mostly for restaurants and players in the food service industry. They came as:

  • No-contact delivery
  • Curbside pickup
  • Dine-in

As soon as businesses started reopening, GMB was quick to add these attributes for those who wanted to ease into the new normal. Google My Business for local SEO at its best.

2. Health and Safety Attributes

For many, it was important to find out whether the business took any health precautions with regard to the pandemic. This enabled them to make informed decisions beforehand.

These attributes include:

  • Temperature checks required
  • Masks required
  • Staff get temperature checks
  • Staff wear masks
  • Appointment required

They may seem like small adjustments but places that follow stricter health protocol and advertise it, are more likely to attract health-conscious clients.

3. Online Service Attributes

The biggest thing that happened with the pandemic was ‘going virtual’ and working from home.

Online meetings became the norm and Google thought to offer attributes that would cater to the online crowd that had grown exponentially.

Businesses could use the following online attributes for their virtual alternatives:

  • Online Appointment
  • Online Classes
  • Online Estimates
  • Online Care

A good number of people are trying to avoid exposure to COVID-19 and these attributes work well for businesses that still want to continue offering their services during the pandemic.

Simple and straightforward, businesses can move to virtual platforms and let their clients know instantly so that business continues.

4. Messaging

Google My Business for local SEO

Messaging was available on the mobile app first but is now available on the desktop version too.

The ‘Messages’ button can be accessed from the left-hand sidebar once you log into GMB. It’s an opt-in service, not automatic. This you can do by adjusting the settings.

The settings remain valid only if you respond to messages within 24 hours. This is just to make sure customers have an enhanced experience on the platform.

Autoresponse messages aren’t viewed as responses even though there’s an option to activate them.

In the event they revoke your messaging rights for flouting the 24-hour turnaround time, you will need to opt-in again.

Where you receive spam messages, mark them as such and Google will fix the situation. You can also block messengers for things like inappropriate or abusive messages.

5. Call History

This attribute is still being tested but it doesn’t hurt to keep it in your sights.

It will enable you to see calls that originated from a Google My Business profile all in one place. Both missed and answered calls will be displayed on the app.

When a customer uses the ‘call’ button on the GMB profile, the call is connected through a forwarding number instead of the one displayed on your profile and shows up on the ‘calls’ tab on GMB. Your number remains masked.

This feature comes with an automated message at the beginning of the call letting you know the call is from Google.

Calls stay for 45 days in the records and any call that goes to voicemail is still considered an answered call.

6. More Google My Business for Local SEO Insights Data

Performance reports are necessary for effective business and GMB has enhanced theirs even further.

More details now feature in the updates, including the number of times a business profile appeared in search results and how many saw it.

It will also show the number of people that got in touch with them after going through their GMB profiles.

Search metrics are essential and useful for marketing decisions and adjustments which ultimately impact the bottom line.

The data remains available for up to 6 months. Users can go over their performance over different timelines to compare data.

7. Black-Owned Business Tag

All over the world, there’s been an uprising on race and more and more people are looking to support Black-owned businesses.

Searches for Black-owned businesses increased and Google enabled businesses to list themselves as such.

Merchants can log into the Google Merchant Center to add this attribute to their business profiles. A particular icon with a black heart appears on product description pages on the Shopping tab afterward.

The tag was rolled out during Black history month but remains a permanent feature on Google in order to make it easier to find and support Black-owned businesses.

It is currently only available to US-based retailers with a Merchant Center account. US businesses with a verified GMB profile have also been able to add and display the ‘Black-owned’ tag.

This is great exposure in light of recent trends and is perfect for Google My Business for local SEO.

8. Reduced Maximum Video Upload Size

This tweak is a little different from the rest as it seems like a restriction at first glance.

The maximum video upload size for GMB is now 75MB down from 100MB.

Videos will therefore have to be short, precise, and to the point but remain of good quality.

All guidelines on uploading or deleting photos and videos on Google My Business appear on the Google My Business Help page.

Growth at Your Fingertips

So many new features that all have the potential to propel your business much further. The only thing to do is adapt and optimize your business profile for Google searches.

Take it a step further and maximize your avenues to tap into Google My Business for local SEO.

All these features combined have the potential to bring in more visibility than your website! All you need to do is check if they’re available in your area and opt-in.

As soon as the changes take effect you can look at the metrics to see if it was worth it. Simple, efficient, and possibly necessary.

Stay visible, stay optimized, stay winning.

Need professional help to optimize your Google My Business Profile and improve local SEO? We can help. Contact us today for free consultation.

How to Optimize Your Google My Business Listing

Google My Business is proving to be a useful tool for business. The following pointers will help you optimize your Google My Business listing and take full advantage of all its features.

Having a robust online presence ensures businesses have more avenues to bring in clients and improve their growth. Google My Business (GMB) tackles business visibility on Google search results, and for free.

It carries a number of offerings that SEO professionals can optimize as a strategy to get easily found within the locality of the business.

Where to Begin

Business owners need to start by creating a GMB listing if they intend to conquer the local market. Google search results, using Local Search, show businesses closest to the searcher’s location, and that in itself gives an edge.

Information like business hours, business address, reviews, the type of business, and extra offerings are displayed.

Most data can be placed into different categories, collated, and structured in a more organized manner, much like an encyclopedia. This is known as a knowledge graph.

Google’s Knowledge Graph is what enables the search engine to display the right answers to questions from the collated information. This same approach goes into displaying verified Google My Business data in relevant searches.

A GMB listing automatically comes with a Google Maps location. This is visible on Google search. With Google’s popularity taking over 90% of the search engine market share worldwide, searchability and visibility increase for businesses that utilize these features.

Your business can also easily feature on other platforms that use Google Maps to provide location information for their users.

Google My Business 101

It is completely free to use. While it holds a lot of value, it doesn’t negate the need for a website. A Google My Business listing supports your business website and helps to get the word out faster and to the right audience.

Previously, Google offered Google+ and Google Places for Business owners to consolidate business information but everything moved to GMB.

With this information, it is best to confirm whether your business already has a listing from the upgrade. A quick Google search should work.

Previously existing businesses probably do and only need to claim the listing. In the event someone else claimed the listing before you did, Google has a solution for that.

Fill all the relevant fields including the business name, business category, contact information, a valid website, and location. Where a business doesn’t require its customers to go to a physical location, the location will not be visible on Google Maps.

The business will, however, still show up in searches related to a general area it serves, better known as a service location.

Businesses that have a physical location can set which other areas they serve outside their physical location. This could be for deliveries and house calls.

Clicking ‘Finish’ will publish the listing but verifying it will have it visible to clients.

Verification

Verifying a Google My Business listing is done via several avenues including mail using a verification postcard, via phone, email, video recording, and even using Search Console. Moreover, it is meant to prove you truly represent the business.

Google will display the business listing once everything is done

You won’t be able to look at any analytical information relating to your business on the back end until verification is complete.

Details to Optimize Your Google My Business Listing

There are a few details that enable you to make the most of GMB. Use everything offered to maximize leverage.

Here is how to do so.

Fill in All Details

The details you give are what your customers will use to find you. Any unclear details could easily mean you lose clients to your competition so make them accurate.

Include all your offerings and special services. Be sure to regularly update things like operating hours if they change.

Keywords are Necessary

Your business is obviously associated with particular keywords and phrases. These show up on search results and make it easier to find your business.

Add these keywords in the description to optimize your Google My Business listing.

Say More with Images

Photos always tend to be instantly catchier and therefore bring in clients faster. Google says businesses that put up photos receive 35% more hits to their websites and 42% more requests for directions on Google Maps.

Make sure the photos are of high quality and appealing to your target clientele. Show them the products, the interior for in-store clients, the exterior so they can find the premises easily, and your logo so they can identify your business.

Reviews 

Reviews and how you respond to them can make or break your business. Responding to customer reviews shows you value their opinion and that is great for business.

Positive reviews will build your business profile and have the potential to bring in more customers. They also push your visibility in search results.

Allow and encourage clients to leave reviews.

Messaging

Allow clients to send messages to your profile but make sure you respond within 24 hours.

Prompt responses give a better customer experience and could be the difference between losing a client and gaining one.

Local Posts

Google My Business allows you to post products, offers, services, and events directly onto Google Search and Maps.

With this, your listing looks alive and fresh.

Special Attributes

Google My Business has introduced different tags like ‘women-led' and ‘Black-owned’ and a host of other attributes, especially with the presence of the COVID-19 pandemic.

You can instantly inform prospective clients whether you offer online care or scheduling and any other special offerings on your listing.

Stay Connected and Keep It Updated

Always ensure new information is updated. Whether you’ll be adding restrictions, improving safety, changing your working hours, or closing temporarily, be sure to post it.

Worth the Trouble

Looking through your metrics will show you where all your clients originate from and how they interact with your listing. Over time, you should see your hard work paying off in these metrics and the bottom line.

Get a professional's help to help optimize your Google My Business listing today. Contact Sleek Web Designs for help.